Most southern Muslims are too paralysed by fear to speak out against the horrific violence being perpetrated by separatists. Yacob Raimanee, the imam of Pattani Central Mosque, was not one of those.
Most southern Muslims are afraid to appear as co-operating with government programmes, knowing it would endanger their lives. Again, this wasn't Imam Yacob.
As a highly respected religious leader in Pattani, people listened to what he said about Islamic teachings. And the imam had repeatedly stressed that it is wrong in Islam for the jihadists to kill innocent people, that peace and forgiveness is the Muslim way, not violence, and that the horrific violence committed by the insurgents violates Islamic teachings. He also represented the government in explaining the southern strife to Islamic countries, which angered the insurgents even more.
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